Your Guide To Setting Social Media Goals

It turns out that setting business goals is not as easy as it sounds. We see this with our clients all the time — either they have lofty goals with no plan or timeline, or they opt in for smaller but less relevant goals that are easy to meet. But most of the time, there are no goals at all.

And this is a big problem for a number of reasons. First of all, goals are like signposts on your journey — they help you navigate the road-map, and should be indicative of how you’re doing — are you going too fast? Too slow? Are you heading in the right direction? Second, goal-setting is a habit. Goals may feel optional when you just start out (main goal — keep head above water) but they become imperative when your business is ready for growth and scale (the tricky part is that if you neglect goals in the first place, you may never get to grow, and that would suck!).

When we work with our clients on goal setting we have two rules. First, goals have to be SMART. Second, goals need to support the vision. Let’s break this down a bit more.

SMART Goals Yield SMART Results

SMART goals are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely. SMART goals are easier to track and, in combination with your KPIs, allow you to take the pulse of your conversion and digital marketing efforts. As an example, here are 5 categories of SMART goals we may use for online lead generation.

  1. Landing Page/Website Visitors — these people fill the top of your inbound marketing sales. Sample SMART goal: Increase landing page visitors to 2,000 a month by July 1, 2019.

  2. Email Leads — these people present an opportunity to convert them into paying clients. Sample SMART goal: Increase email sign-ups to 100 a month by August 1, 2018.

  3. Lead Conversion Ratio — this number measures how many of your leads convert into paying customers. Sample SMART goal: Hit a lead conversion ratio of 2.5% by Q2.

  4. Customers Generated Through Inbound Marketing — these people made it into your marketing sales funnel through the website or social media. Sample SMART goal: Generate 10 customers from inbound marketing in Q1.

  5. Email Click-Through Rate — a high click-through rate indicates people are opening the emails, reading them and engaging with them. Sample SMART goal: Hit an email click-through rate of 10% by Q3.

When I see these sample goals, a couple things immediately jump out at me. First, these goals are simple to understand and to follow. They mention readily available metrics and point me towards the kind of data I need to be using to gauge my success. Second, they give a numerical number to my progress, which gives me room for experimentation. For example, the email click-through goal tells me that I will continue to experiment with my email subject lines (to increase my open rate) and will present content in a more captivating way inside the newsletter to boost my click-through rate. Once 10% is achieved, I will re-evaluate the goal — is 10% good enough for my business objectives? Am I getting sales or conversions from the clicks? Should I boost this number to 15% or focus on growing my email list instead and try to maintain the 10%?

These are very concrete questions you would not be asking yourself if you didn’t have the signpost. ProTip: a lot of our clients feel like they’re jumping into the deep end when it comes to setting goals with numbers attached to them. And we admit, when you first start setting goals, there is a degree of guesswork involved. There are two ways to manage the uncertainty — first, ask your consultant/coach or do your own research to get some idea of baseline numbers specific to your niche. Second, look at previous data (if you have any) and assess your performance. If you are already getting click-through rates of 5–10%, and if email marketing is a key funnel for your business, think about boosting that goal to 15%. The real growth goals you set for yourself depend largely on the amount of time and resources you have to devote to the goal.

Goals Are a Habit - And Habits Take Time

Let’s get back to our second rule of goal-setting. Goals need to support the vision. Whether you work alone or with a consultant or coach, you need to take the time to develop your vision. We ask our clients to imagine their business in a year, 3 years, 5 years and 10 years. What’s different? What remains the same? Of course, these are broad strokes that change as quickly as technology, consumer tastes and attitudes. But we focus on the fundamentals — what is the philosophy and the vision? Then we work backwards in setting out the goals — to get to point B, what does point A look like? We account for the business model and strategy and design goals that meet the business objectives and make sense for the overall strategy.

Start small, pick a few goals with short timelines and monitor your progress. Make baseline assessments and finish line assessments. We design a flexible workbook for our clients to monitor the progress of their goals — make sure you keep a record, in whatever format works for you!